Effect of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose on obesity and glucose metabolism in a diet-induced obesity mouse model

J Diabetes. 2011 Jun;3(2):158-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-0407.2011.00118.x.


Background: To investigate the effect of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) on weight loss and metabolic disorders associated with obesity using a high-fat diet-induced obese mouse model under a high-fat diet regimen.

Methods: Obese male C57BL/6J (B6) mice were fed either a high-fat (60% kcal), low-fat (10% kcal), or high-fat diet plus HPMC (4% and 8%) for 5 weeks. Body, mesenteric adipose, and liver weights were determined at the end of the study. In addition, plasma cholesterol, insulin, glucose, adiponectin, and leptin were analyzed to determine the effects of HPMC. Hepatic and fecal lipids were measured to determine the effect of HPMC on lipid absorption and metabolism.

Results: Supplementation of the high-fat diet with 4% and 8% HPMC resulted in significant weight loss in obese B6 mice. Furthermore, significant decreases were seen in adipose (30%-40%), liver weights (15%-26%), and concentrations of plasma cholesterol (13%-20%) and hepatic lipids (13%-36%). Supplementation with 8% HPMC led to significant improvements in glucose homeostasis and leptin concentrations. Reductions in plasma cholesterol, glucose, and insulin levels were strongly correlated with reduced leptin concentrations. Moreover, increases in fecal secretion of total bile acids, sterols, and fats indicated altered fat absorption when HPMC was incorporated in the diet.

Conclusion: The data indicate that HPMC not only reduces body weight, but also normalizes the metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity and suggest that the effects of HPMC on glucose and lipid homeostasis in B6 mice are mediated by improvements in leptin sensitivity resulting from reduced fat absorption.

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Hypromellose Derivatives
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Methylcellulose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methylcellulose / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Random Allocation
  • Regression Analysis
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Hypromellose Derivatives
  • Methylcellulose
  • Cholesterol